How Holistic Dentistry Differs from Traditional Dentistry
Let’s just start by saying that both traditional and holistic dental practices are staffed by educated and experienced professionals devoted to helping their patients maintain good oral health. However, the guiding principles of care and the ways in which that care is delivered varies significantly between one dental practice and the next.
Do both traditional and holistic dentists give you fillings when you have cavities? Yes, but the holistic dentist will likely ensure a mercury-free and mercury safe office, which means toxic amalgam fillings won’t be on the menu. In a traditional office, such filling materials are often the first choice because of their lower cost compared to other materials, despite the potential cost of your health.
How can you decide if choosing a holistic dentist or a traditional practice is right for you? The best way is to understand the different philosophies and practices each uses. Here are a few things you need to know.
The main principle of any holistic practice is the belief that the body functions as a whole unit, with every part playing a role in health and vitality. Holistic dentists, in particular, consider how oral health affects the rest of the body and vice versa.
The important distinction here is the philosophy behind the practice. Holistic dentistry focuses on the ways in which dentistry not only affects oral health, but overall health as well.
Use of Toxic Substances
Holistic dentists have strong feelings about the use of toxic substances in dentistry, with a focus on avoiding the use of potentially harmful materials whenever possible. As noted above, holistic dentists have mercury-free practices. Not only do they avoid using mercury, but when they have to remove mercury fillings to replace them, they take great care to ensure that both patients and practitioners are not exposed to toxins in the process.
Many holistic dentists also particularly avoid the use of fluoride in any form, but use a much safer alternative. In addition, they prefer not to use toxic chemicals for sterilization (which are common in traditional dentistry), and they may even avoid procedures that require them, such as root canals. The particulars will, of course, differ from practice to practice, but avoiding toxins is a major concern for holistic dentists in general.
Since your oral health may have an impact on your overall health, most holistic dentists strive to choose materials that are the most likely to be biocompatible or safe for the body, so as to cause as little potential harm as possible. They may even test to make sure certain materials are biocompatible with specific patients.